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Project Management Certification – A guide

This article is a guide on how to obtain a project management certification and resources you need as part of project management education. This is a live document and I will update it as we gather more information talking to people who take the certification exam.

If you are planning to get a project management certification, this article is for you. There is a lot of studying and preparation involved to get your PM certification. You should also consider the project management certification cost before deciding if you should get one.

You should also consider the project management certification cost before deciding if you should get one.

Before you start planning to take your certification exam, you need to consider the following three points:

1- You need a few years of practical experience in project management before you can take the certification test, usually 2-3 years of relevant experience. These are specified in the PMP Certification eligibility.

2- You need to create a plan on how to prepare and pass the exam. There is a lot of material which you need to cover and it takes a lot of time to learn them all.

3- Having a project management certification does not make you a better project manager, just a stamp of approval which shows you know the basic concepts in theory. So passing the exam is not a substitute for experience to make you a good project manager.

The most widely known PM certification is the one offered by project management Institute or PMI for short.

PMI provides extensive resources for studying the materials needed to pass the certification. One great resource is the PMP handbook (project management professional handbook). In addition, PMI offers PMP courses.

There are hundreds of private and public institutions which provide classes to learn about the exam and some even guarantee that you will pass the test after taking their courses.

These classes cost money and if your public college or university offers such courses take advantage of that and enroll in those courses. The courses offered by colleges are much better organized and a lot cheaper than most private institutions.

What is project management discipline?

The project manager is responsible to plan, track and guide a project to its successful outcome employing a team of professionals. The project management discipline is the science and know-how the project manager uses to guide him/her and the team throughout the project life cycle.

Who needs project management certification?

Not all projects and industries need project management certification. In fact, most projects in high tech using Agile project management method don’t employ certified project managers.

There are a few fields that require project management certification. These fields are listed below:

  • Defence industry
  • Public health projects
  • Construction
  • Defense industry
  • Health care and new drugs which need FDA approval

Resources for PM certification

Books:

Below is a list of our favorite books about PM certification:

  1. PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide, Fourth Edition (Certification Press) by Joseph Phillips 
  2. PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition – Updated: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam By Rita Mulcahy
  3. Project management professional handbook (PMP)
  4. PMBOK Guide – Fifth Edition

Colleges:

Many colleges offer project management education and certification programs. You can find a short list below:

  1.  Bryant University – Bryant University is primarily a business school and it excels on subjects related to business. Having small classes and excellent teachers it creates a fantastic environment for learning. Their project management courses are superb!
  2. CalTech – One the best universities in the world, CatTach offers a wealth of science and engineering degrees. Their project management degree is one of the best programs for those who want to manage high tech and technology intensive projects.
  3. North Carolina state university – NCSU is a great technology university in the research triangle area of North Carolina. As a state school with low tuitions, NCSU offers great value for the money. They are one of the few universities in the USA that offer Master Degree in project management.
  4. Rutgers University – One of the best public universities in the state of Nw Jersey, Rutgers offers the best courses with the focus on getting PM certification
  5. University of Chicago – A renowned university with more Nobel lecturers than most universities in the world, University of Chicago is Business school powerhouse.  It offers an excellent project management program.
  6. The University of California Berkely– the University of California at Berkely is the flagship of the California state colleges. Berkey is one of the best state schools in the USA and offers comprehensive management and project management courses.
  7. Villanova University – Villanova is one of the oldest religious private schools in the USA located in Pennsylvania. It has a great Business school and its project management programs are excellent.
  8. Baruch College – Baruch college is the business school of New York University system. It offers one of the best business curriculums in the country. Since NYU is a state school the tuitions are well affordable. Baruch college offers project management certification programs.
  9. UCLA Extension – Like Berkley, UCLA is part of the University of California system. It is located in Los Angeles and offers almost any degree in any field you can imagine.  It’s Marshall school of business is well respected. The project management program is excellent and highly recommended.
  10. Southern Methodist University – Continuing and Professional Education – SMU is a mid size college in Texas. It offers project management programs that adults can take as part of the certification program.
  11. The University of Washington –  UW offers complete courses on project management certification at very affordable prices.
  12. Stanford University – Who has not heard about one of the most prestigious universities in America like Stanford.  Located in Silicon Valley, Stanford offers advanced project management courses and degree programs.
  13. The University of Delaware – UD one of the oldest universities in America offers excellent courses in business and management. It offers a 14-week certification program which is one of the best in the nation.
  14. Pace University – A private university in upstate New York, Pace offers excellent business programs. For $1800 one gets to attend a certification class and take the exam.
  15. Georgetown University – One of the oldest religious school in the nation is located in Washington DC. The university offers project management degrees and certification courses.
  16. Northumbria Univerity – A public college in United Kingdom offering project management and certification courses.
  17. La Trobe University – A public university in the state of Victoria, Australia. It offers project management degrees and certification courses.
  18. The University of Winnipeg – A good public university in Canada offering project management courses at very affordable prices.
  19. University College Dublin – The largest university in Irland and one of the top universities in the world. It offers great programs in all field and project management at really attractive prices even for foreign students.
  20. Jiangsu University – One of the oldest and best Universities in China offering project management courses. It also offers an amazing cultural experience for students visiting China.
  21. The University of Miami – located in the state of Florida, the division of continuing education of the university of Miami offers excellent project management preparation courses and programs.
  22. Wake Forest University – Located in the state of Carolina, Wake Forest University is ranked as one of the top colleges in the USA. It offers project management certification programs.

Blogs

There are many really good blogs about project management today. A list of those with the best information for new project managers is below:

  1. Projectmanagement.com – The best blog about project management, is much more than a blog. It is a place to meet other project managers and exchange ideas
  2. The Lazy project manager – Peter Tayler is the best selling author and one heck of blogger about project management practices
  3. Collaboration Corner – The blog you are reading, covers all aspects of project management and remote working.
  4. Project Times –  A nicely done magazine about project management
  5. The Project Management Hut – A blog with great articles about project management
  6. A Girl’s guide to project management – A nicely done blog with emphasis on female project managers.
  7. Project management tips – This blog offers good advice on the art and best practices of project management.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is a live document about project management certification and I will be updating it regularly. At the moment the information here is USA centric. I hope to add information about resources available in other countries too.

That’s where I need your help. Please let me know of any resources you think is worth adding to this document from any country around the world and I will add it here. Either leave a comment in these pages or send us your suggestions to “support at Binfire dot com”.

Dan Smiljanić

Dan is a practitioner of project management and our resident geek. With a background in computer science, Dan is the lead product tester at Binfire. When Dan not writing code, you will probably find him cycling and hiking with friends.

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